Shop and craigslist #1: trying to answer the immediate questions first - 3 phase in the garage

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Blog entry by getlostinwood posted 02-02-2013 06:56 PM 1604 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Shop and craigslist series Part 2: What does a potential deal look like? »

I’ve been thinking about doing a craigslist shop series for a while. With all the questions on craigslist, three phase, and pricing, I figured I should start by answering the immediate questions and try and help some make some buying decisions.
Short answer first; yes you can run three phase in the garage. There for some you can now go back to looking at the projects pages.
Slightly longer answer: For this we are going to assume you only need to run one or two three phase units. Most common would be table saw, lathe, and if your really into a crowded garage maybe an 18” powermatic PM180 planer. This maybe just my fantasy but if you’ve read this far you may need to look up from the screen and give your other half a smile just to make sure.
Breaker video

In order to run three phase machinery you must first have a 220v plug within proximity of where you want to put the machine.

Now that there is power to use, I used a Temco FM-50. It is possible to wire the VFD before the switch and use the normal machine on/off. It is also possible to just use the VFD as the on/off switch which is what I did.

VFD Video

Dont let a three phase deal kill your dreams. A 2hp unisaw for under $300 would have you up and running in a couple days for less than $500 and that would include a new saw blade.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

3 comments so far

View socrbent's profile


1051 posts in 3764 days

#1 posted 02-02-2013 09:43 PM

getlostinwood – thanks for taking the time to help beginners out. Suggestion – explain what a VFD is.

-- socrbent Ohio

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 4097 days

#2 posted 02-02-2013 10:21 PM

Without getting wonky, mainly because I’m not qualified to be wonky on this subject, a VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) is a mechanism that converts a single phase input say 220v into a three phase output like 220v 3ph. It also will allow the user to control the speed of the motor. This feature makes it a very nice feature when looking at older lathes and planers.

For the wonks here is the wiki link

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 3685 days

#3 posted 02-02-2013 10:29 PM

thanks once again.i asked before on this site about 3 phrase and got terrific responses i just didn’t get the bandsaw in time.all this info is helpfull in the future to not stir away from 3 phase.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

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